Conflict and Cooperation

Conflict and Cooperation in the European Union

 

Introduction

The European Union was formed in 1993 after the Signing of the Maastricht treaty. Its membership has grown from THAT of 8 countries to 23.The organization has achieved great success in establishing a market of about 5 million consumers that has led to fast economic growth in the region. However it still faces conflict among member states over issues such as the refugee crisis that are threatening its dream of political integration. These conflicts need to be addressed so as to restore cooperation and ensure progress towards achievement of its dreams.

Conflict

There are a number of issues that have caused strain in the relationship between the member countries of the EU (Kverghelidze, 2010). First, isolation of individual countries is threatening the future of the union. Over the years, the large countries such as Britain have had the mentality that they are superior over the small countries such as Malta and Cyprus. Such contempt causes suspicion among the members. In 2016, Britain decided to leave the union (Brexit) and has since taken the first steps towards this decision.as such this is a major threat to the stability of EU. Now, it has to reorganize its operations, evaluate its strategies on the plans for the future its plans and also reconsider its political policies in the remaining member countries.

In addition, member countries hold different opinions on the proper way to respond to the refugee crisis in the world. Even though there is no war in Europe, there is intensive conflict in neighboring countries such has Iraq and Syria. As a result, the refugee crisis has reached the highest level it has ever been. Millions of people are fleeing from these two countries and are all looking for asylum in Europe. While some countries have refused to open their borders to refugees from Syria, the others have welcomed refugees and are helping them settle down. These countries that have turned down refugees have fears that these incomers will be a security threat to their countries leading to political instability in the future. In addition, the refugees are viewed as a threat to economic prosperity. The citizens of countries such as do not want to shoulder the financial burden of taking care of refugees. Likewise, there is a school of thought that argues that refugees will take up the jobs in such countries resulting in unemployment among the hosts (Shellito, 2016).

On the other hand, countries such as Germany have opened their borders to refugees and have not put restrictions on the number of refugees they can host. In contrast to the perspective that they are a political and economic threat, these countries believe that it is their responsibility to provide humanitarian assistance to these refugees (Shellito, 2016). Consequentially, this has course of action has attracted sharp criticism from the other countries who see refugees as a threat to the future of Europe.

Again, members have political differences caused on the different approaches to democracy. Some countries have had to problems in upholding democratic governance. For instance, in 2016, Spain staid without a government in place for a period of time. In the absence of a government, any country faces the risk of falling apart into the control of different rebel organizations that do not uphold the rule of law and democracy. Notably political instability in one country poses a threat to the whole organization and is a threat to regional peace. Hence such instability is a threat to the dream of having Europe as a single political entity.

Conflicts have many effects on the progress of any organization. For example, the European Union cannot become a political superpower with global influence in the face if isolation among member nations. Similarly, on their own, the economies of each country will face major because of low levels of foreign direct investment. Again, individual countries are unable to negotiate favorable trade terms with other economic blocks in the world. For this reason, members of the EU must set aside their differences and work together since unity is strength.

Cooperation

Throughout history, human beings have thrived by cooperating with each other and with the environment. Systems that have been built based on cooperation have proven to possess long lasting achievements. For this reason, the members of the EU need to handle their differences in a civilized manner so that they can attain economic, social and political prosperity.

In order to improve the cooperation between the member states, signing of treaties can be used to reach agreements in areas of conflict (Kveghelidze, 2010). Treaties focus on areas that pose challenges and lay emphasis on agreements that are beneficial to all. For instance the member states can sign a treaty on the method they will uniformly use to handle the refugees that are flocking into Europe .hence this will resolve the biggest crisis facing the EU.

Additionally, restoration of democracy in each of the member states is a good way of improving on cooperation. The EU can come with policies and laws that ensure that each member state gives its citizens the freedom of speech. Similarly, the will of the people should be the base from which governments of member states get their authority and also the basis on which the EU gets its authority. As a benefit of restoring democracy, there will be more economic prosperity since democratic countries fight corruption better and have less probabilities of going to war (Kveghelidze, 2010).

There are many benefits that countries enjoy when they come together to form a single political and economic block. First, there are numerous trade benefits. Together, the countries have negotiating power that they can use to make favorable trading agreements with the rest of the world. As such they are able to create a vast market for their products and get imports at lower costs. In return, this causes creation of millions of jobs in the economies of each country due to the availability of ready market for finished products. Similarly, there is freedom of movement between the member states and citizens are able to find jobs in any of the country’s leading to personal prosperity. Further, the countries are able to enjoy economies of scale, market efficiency and favorable tax policies.

As a result of political integration countries are able to form a block that has great control over world affairs.As an illustration, the USA is a superpower because of political integration. Moreover, peace prevails in the region since the countries cannot turn on each other and go to war as was the case in the two world wars where European countries fought each other destroying their economies. Again, when united, countries gain military strength and work together to fight terrorism .This is highly beneficial for small countries since they are able to protect their borders better.

Taiwan and the European Union

Taiwan has great trading ties with the EU. To this country, the EU is the fourth largest trading partner after China, USA and Japan. Additionally, the EU has been the greatest direct foreign investor in Taiwan over the recent past. The establishment of the European Economic and Trade Office in 2003 by the European Commission in Taipei has highly helped in strengthening of bilateral ties between the EU and Taiwan.

In relation to the Taiwan Issue, (the question about the sovereignty of Taiwan as a democratic country independent of China) the European supports a peaceful way of conflict resolution through talks between the government of Taiwan and that of China (Schubert, 2003). In addition, since the eu is a strong believer in democracy, it advocates for the respect of the wish of the people of Taiwan .Notably, the Taiwanese have strongly stated their position that they do not want to be part of the China and that they want a democratic government.

Conclusion

In summary, the EU has had great achievements since its formation in 1993 that improved the economic status of member states. However, it still has some dreams to achieve such as being a single political block and resolving the conflicts that exist between member states. In order to achieve all its aspirations, the EU has to come up with ways to solve these challenges such as signing of treaties. In the case of the Taiwan issue, the EU advocates for peaceful resolution of the conflict and respect of the wish of the people of Taiwan.

 

 

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